Catherine de' Medici, Governor of Siena

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Caterina de' Medici
1621 full portrait of Caterina de' Medici as Duchess of Mantua by Justus Sustermans.jpg
Duchess of Mantua and Montferrat
Tenure16 February 1617 – October 29, 1626
Governor of Siena
Tenure1627 – 17 April 1629
Born(1593-05-02)2 May 1593
Palazzo Pitti, Florence, Tuscany
Died17 April 1629(1629-04-17) (aged 35)
Siena, Tuscany
Basilica of San Lorenzo, Florence 43°46′30″N 11°15′13″E / 43.774991°N 11.253659°E / 43.774991; 11.253659Coordinates: 43°46′30″N 11°15′13″E / 43.774991°N 11.253659°E / 43.774991; 11.253659
SpouseFerdinand, Duke of Mantua and Montferrat
HouseHouse of Medici
FatherFerdinando I, Grand Duke of Tuscany
MotherChristina of Lorraine

Caterina de' Medici (2 May 1593 – 17 April 1629) was Duchess of Mantua and Montferrat as the second wife of Duke Ferdinando and Governor of Siena from 1627. She was the second daughter of Grand Duke Ferdinando I of Tuscany and his wife Christina of Lorraine.


The second daughter and third child of Grand Duke Ferdinando I and Christina of Lorraine, Caterina, named after the eponymous Queen of France, was born in Florence on 2 May 1593.

Caterina was considered as a potential spouse to Henry Frederick, Prince of Wales, heir to the three Kingdoms of England, Scotland and Ireland, but his Anglican religion presented an insurmountable barrier.

Eventually, she married in 1617 Ferdinando Gonzaga, Duke of Mantua and Montferrat;[1] the marriage, however, was childless.

Upon being made a widow in 1626, she returned to Tuscany. Her nephew, Grand Duke Ferdinando II, created her Governess of Siena in 1627, where she died of smallpox two years later.[2]

In later life, Caterina garnered a reputation for intense piety.[3] Historian Colonel G.F. Young asserts that she bore a striking resemblance to her brother Cosimo II and sister Claudia.[3] She was interred in the Medicean necropolis, the Basilica of San Lorenzo.[3]



  1. ^ Parrott 1997, p. 37.
  2. ^ Young, p 530
  3. ^ a b c Young, p 387


  • Parrott, David (1997). "The Mantuan Succession, 1627–31: A Sovereignty Dispute in Early Modern Europe". The English Historical Review. Oxford Academic. CXII, Issue 445, February (445): 20–65. doi:10.1093/ehr/CXII.445.20.
  • Young, G.F.: The Medici: Volume II, John Murray, London, 1920
Catherine de' Medici, Governor of Siena
Born: 2 May 1593 Died: 17 April 1629
Italian royalty
Preceded by Duchess of Mantua
Succeeded by
Duchess of Montferrat
Political offices
Preceded by Governor of Siena
Succeeded by